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Junior Olympics in Pittsburgh to Include World and Pan American Championship Team Trials

by Bill Kellick

A male judoka wearing a white gi attempts to throw his opponent wearing a blue gi

(Colorado Springs, CO) – The David J. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh will play host to the future of American judo as the 2024 USA Judo National and International Junior Olympic Championships take place June 21-23. The tournament will also serve as the trials for the 2024 Junior World Championships (Oct. 2-5 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan), the 2024 Cadet World Championships (Aug. 28-31 in Lima, Peru) and the 2024 U13 and U15 Pan American Championships (Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Havana, Cuba).

Junior Olympic National Championships

Junior Olympic International Championships

The winner of each of the weight divisions (non-open weights only) in the regular IJF-Junior and cadet categories will earn automatic berths to the Junior and Cadet World Teams, respectively.

The USA Judo Junior Olympics will be held in conjunction with USA Weightlifting’s National Championships Week which will draw 1,600 junior, senior and masters competitors with competition for both sports being held in Hall A of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to create a festival atmosphere between the two sports.

More than 650 judo athletes are expected to compete in the three-day USA Judo Junior Olympics. Kim’s Martial Arts of Pittsburgh is sending 14 athletes to the competition.

Tickets are available on-site at a cost of $15 per for a one-day pass or $35 for an all-event pass for individuals 13 and older. Discounted passes are available for $12 for a one-day pass for children ages 9-12 or $25 for an all-event pass. Children ages 8 and under are admitted for free.


Judo competition begins at 8:15 a.m. daily with events scheduled as follows:

Friday, June 21 (National Championships)
Regular Bantam, Intermediate & Cadet Categories

Saturday, June 22 (National Championships)
Regular IJF-Junior, Juvenile & All Novice Categories

Sunday, June 23 (International Championships)
All Categories


Among the judo competitors to watch in Pittsburgh are the following athletes who competed for the U.S. at the 2023 Junior and Cadet World Championships:

CADETS
Men’s 50 kg
Ethan Boldbaatar (Bellevue, WA / Washington Judo Academy)
Damian Lang (Bellevue, WA / Washington Judo Academy)

Men’s 55 kg
Jonathan Yang (Los Angeles, CA / LA Judo Club) – 7th at 2023 Cadet Worlds, bronze medal at 2024 Pan American and Oceania Championships in junior -60kg
Henry Parsadanian (North Hollywood, CA)

Men’s 60 kg
Alex Prado (Coral Springs, FL / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)

Men’s 66 kg
Bilegt Erdenetsogt (Albany, CA / Berkeley Genco Judo Club)
Kevin Do Carmo (Lehigh Acres, FL / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)

Men’s 73 kg
Anthony Farnot (Lehigh Acres, FL / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)

Men’s 81 kg
Daniel Shulgin (Philadelphia, PA / Yawara Force)

Men’s 90 kg
Daniel Liubimovski (Staten Island, NY / Colton Brown Training Center), gold medal at 2024 Pan American and Oceania Championships in junior -100kg

Women’s 48 kg
Samantha Garcia (Torrance, CA / Harbor Judo Dojo)

Women’s 57 kg
Nicole Cancela (Coral Springs, FL / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) – 7th at 2023 Cadet Worlds, bronze medal at 2024 Pan American and Oceania Championships

Women’s 63 kg
Emily Jaspe (Hialeah, FL / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center) – 5th at 2023 Cadet Worlds
Jayda Fulp (Fort Worth, TX / Chandler Judo Academy)

Women’s 70 kg
Chloe Williams (Stafford, VA / Wall 2 Wall Martial Arts)

IJF JUNIORS
Men’s 60 kg
Christopher Velazco (Coral Springs, FL / NYAC / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center), gold medal at 2024 Pan American and Oceania Championships

Men’s 73 kg
Ruslan Korotich (Katy, TX / Revolution Judo)

Men’s 90 kg
Oleksandr Nyzhnyk (Los Gatos, CA / Nakano Judo Academy), gold medal at 2024 Pan American and Oceania Championships

Men’s +100 kg
Alex Semenenko (Staten Island, NY / Generation Judo Club)

Women’s 48 kg
Harlee Hiller (Evanston, IL / Cohen Brothers), bronze medal at 2024 Pan American and Oceania Championships

Women’s 57 kg
Jasmine Macias (La Puente, CA / Guerreros Judo)

Women’s 63 kg
Emily Jaspe (Hialeah, FL / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center)